Skip to Main Content

EndNote: EndNote Desktop

EndNote Desktop - First Steps ...

For Windows

For Mac

And if you want to know more...

Creating an EndNote library

EndNote allows you to create many separate 'libraries'. However, it is highly recommended that you work with only one libray and use the groups function to organise your references.

To create a Library

  • Open the program > At work, from the Desktop, open the Start Menu > All Programs > EndNote.  (If it is not listed, please contact your local IT department to have it installed)
  • When the program opens:
    • Do NOT click integrate with EndNote Web at this time > click Finish
    • A blank screen appears - from the "File" menu at the top of the screen click on "New"
    • A dialogue box will open with My EndNote Library.enl as the default name. 
      • In the top Save in box, select where you wish to save your Library
      • In the File name box type a new name for you library > click Save 
      • Mac & EndNote X7 users: Once you click New > Name your library > tick Save as Package - this will make it easier to make stable backups


  • The blank screen is replaced with the new library - the name of the Library is listed at the very top of the screen
  • The Preview tab on the right displays the highlighted reference formatted in the selected reference or output style.
  • The Groups pane on the left allows you to organise your references into subject groups.
  • You are now ready to add references to your personal library


Moving the preview panel

In EndNote X9 the new library will open with the preview panel on the ight hand side.

 To move this panel to the bottom of the window click on the Layout arrow (bottom right Windows PC, top right Mac) & select Bottom or (Bottom Split ve the Reference/Preview & PDF displayed side by side on the bottom of the window    

  • EndNote libraries are made up of two parts: the .enl file and the .Data folder. These two parts must be kept together, both are needed for the library to work correctly.
  • EndNote libraries should be kept on your computer's hard drive. Storing and editing libraries on a network drive can lead to corruption and performance issues.
  • EndNote libraries should never be stored in cloud-syncing folders such as DropBox, OneDrive, Box, SugarSync, etc. Syncing folders corrupt EndNote libraries over time.
  • Uninstall your previous version of EndNote before installing a new version.
  • References in EndNote libraries can be synchronized between desktop and laptop computers, the online library, and an iPad using EndNote Sync.